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41m FAKE COINS IN BRITAIN; Massive rise in pounds 1 counterfeits.

Byline: Paul O'Hare

A INCREDIBLE 41million pounds 1 coins are forgeries, the Government have revealed.

Counterfeit coins now account for one in 36 of all those in circulation, up from one in 40 last year.

The revelation came in a parliamentary answer from Justine Greening, economic secretary to the Treasury, to Tory MP Andrew Rosindell.

It could even mean pounds 1 coins having to be scrapped and reissued.

Robert Matthews, the former Royal Mint assay master - the most senior coin tester - said: "If the number keeps increasing at this rate, there will come a point when the Treasury has to decide whether to remint or not."

And Rosindell said: "Clearly, the pounds 1 coin is something the Royal Mint needs to reconsider.

"The effect on consumers has to be a major consideration.

A lot of people have lost out because of this."

Banks will not refund small businesses for fake coins from their tills.

Metal

People often do not realise a coin is fake until it is rejected by a parking meter or vending machine, which have devices to identify the correct metal composition.

But as many as half the fakes can pass this test.

A Treasury spokesman said: "We continue to keep our actions in response to counterfeiting under constant review."

HOW TO SPOT A FORGERY

LOOK at the edge.

On fake coins, lettering will often be indistinct or the wrong typeface.

The edge may also have no ridges.

HOLD the coin so the Queen's head is upright and facing you.

The pattern on the reverse side should also be upright.

On fakes, the designs on each side can often be at different angles.

SOME fake coins are too bright and shiny.

Real coins will discolour and fade with age.

VENDING machines and parking meters will reject many fakes.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 28, 2010
Words:300
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